Since the last few years, the reputation of test automation has increased. What is so special about test automation that organizations and teams find it so desirable?
To start with, Test Automation is not at all new. What can be comparatively new are the ideas of testers or the new ideas of testing. Automation Testing allows exact and reliable executions on many iterations, and you can speed up testing cycles, test constantly, and test more consistently. At the end of the day, an automated script can only check what you ask it to check.
Manual Testing cannot be ignored at all and it has its own advantages and disadvantages. In manual testing, the tester can unveil lots of problems from user experience issues to critical issues which no one even considers, but performing such types of testing will take a long time and need all of the tester’s attention. This testing is performed by hand, and you simply can’t do as much. Manual testing and automated testing don’t diminish one another, but they do enhance each other.
In automation, a number of testing phases are involved such as functional tests, sanity tests, security tests, acceptance tests, and system tests. In some particular scenarios like regression and load tests, automation testing is believed to be a perfect solution.
However, there are many testing scenarios where test automation is not handy. The best example here is again exploratory testing. Automated tests require a predictable flow which can be documented, but in exploratory testing, the process will be unpredictable, undocumented, and devoid of scripting. In Manual Testing, the manual testers will be familiar with the tested application and be aware of all the pitfalls in the application. So by performing manual testing, there are more chances to easily explore the system and know where exactly to look for hidden bugs.
Let us take some of the testing types where the testing can be executed in strict correlation as far as documentation and testing are concerned. By performing these types of testing, the success criteria will be clearly defined much before with pass/fail remarks used for measuring the outcomes. At the same time, it is easy for the design and development teams to identify the issues and fix them. So, Test automation has less importance in some of the testing types as they are designed for dividing the distinctions between success and failure.
Though automated testing allows exact and reliable executions and speeds up the testing cycles, there are still many reasons to say that manual testing is also needed, as it is still a crucial part to keep the overall testing routine intact.